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Hooking Up Happier: Design Insight from Grindr

#sxsw #meetgrindr

Grindr, the popular location-based app for men seeking men, started four years ago and now has a user base of five million. The service continues to grow at a rapid pace—in spite of new direct competitors like Scruff and Jack'd cropping up, and existing sites like OKCupid adding geo-location.

While Grindr is less known than other locative services like Foursquare, it is often recognized as one of the best services for socially connecting its users. At the same time, services like Grindr aren't without discontent. Many users are discouraged by their interactions, at turns coarse, unsatisfying, or — worse — absent.

This talk provides context for Grindr's success and presents the service through the lens of a game designer — reasonable considering many consider hooking up a game anyhow. Drawing from research, the talk will suggest how design impacts the rules of the game, the best strategies for successful meetups, and what designers for locative services could learn from Grindr.



Jaime Woo Writer/Festival Organizer

Jaime woo is a Canadian writer, festival organizer, and game designer.

He is the festival director and co-founder of Gamercamp, an annual games festival in Toronto. The fifth edition of Gamercamp will happen in November 2013.

His physical game Gargoyles was selected to be part of the 2011 Indiecade Big Games program in Los Angeles and the 2012 Come Out and Play festival in New York City.

He has spoken at SXSW interactive in 2010, as well as for organizations such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Rotman School of Business (at the University of Toronto), NXNE Interactive, and the Toronto chapter of the International Game Developers Association.

He has been featured and interviewed on programs such as CBC’s Here and Now, Q with Jian Ghomeshi, and Metro Morning, Space’s Innerspace, the syndicated program Electric Playground, Financial Post, Globe and Mail, Metro Toronto, Xtra, Fab, In Toronto, San Francisco Chronicle, and the AV Club.

He is the author about the popular gay cruising app Grindr called Meet Grindr.